WASHINGTON, DC.- The Crime Museum
unveiled its first new gallery since opening six years ago, entitled Counterfeit Crimes: Are You Part of the Black Market? The museum has partnered with the International AntiCounterfeiting Coaltion (IACC), as well as the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) and a wide range of industries, to create this new interactive gallery. From high tech to hands on, this new permanent gallery will raise awareness of the widespread criminal activity that affects the everyday lives of consumers everywhere.
The new gallery asks visitors tough questions while educating them on the topic, calling them to rethink the purchases they make, and to reexamine the products in their closets, in their medicine cabinets, and under their car hoods. The gallery delves into an industry that people dont often think of as criminal, and explores the harms associated with supporting the counterfeit trade. How much is that knockoff handbag on Canal Street really worth to you? That bag wont seem like such a bargain once you learn the costs that come with it.
What many dont realize is that the counterfeit trade is organized crime on a global scale, and the counterfeiters dont care who gets hurt. We want the public to understand the real price of counterfeit goods, says International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition President, Bob Barchiesi. We are thrilled to be a part of this gallery the first of its kind in the United States, following exhibits in Paris and Bangkok.
A variety of counterfeit items some that many of us see on a daily basis are among the artifacts in the gallery, which also includes several interactive elements. Items in the new gallery include:
· Coach purses, wallets and sunglasses
· Gibson guitars
· Video Game consoles
· Ugg boots
· Otterbox and Lifeproof cell phone cases
· Beats headphones
· Timberland clothing and footwear
· Sports jerseys
· Power strips and electronics
· A pill press used to make counterfeit pharmaceuticals confiscated in a raid in Colombia
Interactive exhibits will allow guests to learn and test their knowledge on topics such as:
· Is it a choking hazard? How household items are tested to ensure your childs safety
and NOT tested when theyre counterfeits.
· Save the Game! The downloadable app lets you become a Special Agent and investigate video game counterfeiting
· Get what you pay for? Is that high-priced food item you just bought really what was advertised?
The crimes outlined in our other galleries have primarily been those that are obvious crimes, for which the public generally comprehends the crime and the resulting punishment, said Janine Vaccarello, Chief Operating Officer of the Crime Museum. Often, when it comes to counterfeit goods, people fail to realize the impact and tremendous costs to society. As always, our mission at the Crime Museum is to educate, utilizing interactive and informative exhibits, and this gallery has allowed us to do that while touching upon an area we all are familiar with consumerism!
The new gallery replaces the former Americas Most Wanted Studio on the museums lower level. While he could not be in D.C. for the opening, AMW creator John Walsh said, "I wish I could be with you to Open this new gallery- I always say it takes the power of one to make a difference and I'm glad the Crime Museum is bringing attention to counterfeit crimes and the consequences it has on our society. The link between counterfeiting and other crimes is undeniable and I'm hoping this new gallery will make people think twice. It's a great addition to an already fascinating museum.